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News video games 29 March 2022, 14:17

author: Hubert Sledziewski

20 Years of Rockstar Games in One Picture - Only GTA and RDR Matter

Rockstar focuses on quality over quantity. The company that was able to produce three great games in one year, for the last nine years has developed only two titles: GTA 5 and RDR2. Has Rockstar become a victim of its own success?

On March 15, 2022, GTA 5 was released on the third generation of consoles in a row. This means that - not counting the income from GTA Online - Rockstar is earning money from this production for the third time. It's clearly not enough for the company, because they announced paid subscription called GTA+.

What about the other things? Red Dead Online, the online mode for Red Dead Redemption 2 released in 2018, is developed at a fairly slow pace. Although GTA 6 is in production, it is unlikely to be released soon. We don't know about anything else - there is no indication that Rockstar is working on something new (although many would like to believe in Bully 2 rumors).

The question is, why? Why is that a company that between 2001 and 2013 made at least one game a year - sometimes even three titles in one year - somehow limited itself to only two big brands? Is it to maximize profits? Or maybe this shows the changes taking place in the industry?

Thanks to online mode, a game's release is just the beginning. The developers have noticed that players are willing to spend money on productions that receive additional content - even if they pay more for access to it than for the game itself.

Another important factor is the risk of creating something completely new. Is it the fault of those players who don't like changes? Maybe. However, the fact is that it is easier to sell the "new GTA" than - say - Bully 2 or Manhunt 3.

The quality of the games produced by Rockstar is also of great importance. They are created with attention to the smallest details - and I'm not talking about the horse's testicles shrinking when it's cold (but this too). For example: John and Arthur have a different technique of aiming a gun - the first one squints with one eye, and the second does not - and after playing Five Finger Fillet you can see the scars from the knife on the hero's hand.

The game has even more small details like the ones mentioned aobve. If you add the realistic animations, how the soundtrack (I recommend watching the above video) or dialogues are recorded - characters that are riding next to each other talk normally, but when one of them moves a bit farther, they don't stop talking, instead they continue it by shouting - it is no wonder that Rockstar needs more and more time to make games.

After all, the company wants to raise the bar with each production. There was a big step in the realism between GTA 5 and RDR2. What we will experience in GTA 6? For now, we can only guess. However, it is worth bearing in mind that such ambitions cost - both time and money. In the case of less famous brands, such a large investment may simply not be profitable.

These, and other reasons, led to the fact that Rockstar made 20 games between 2001 and 2012, but only two between 2013 and 2021. There could have been three, but Agent was abandoned. This production was probably deemed not profitable enough. Despite working on just two franchises, the sales are clearly satisfactory, as shown in the graphic below.

I wish I could write that we, the players, are able to change this by voting with our wallets. But who will not buy GTA 6 once it finally comes out?

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